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"French Army Composition" Topic

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eldorado26 Mar 2018 1:07 p.m. PST

If you were to start building a generic French Napoleonic army that could be used to wargame any fictional or nonfictional large scale engagement in the years between 1805-1815 what would the national makeup look like for that army? As an example, if you were to paint 100 bases of troops what proportion would you paint French and what proportion would be Bavarian, Westphalian, Polish, Italian, or other. Thanks for your input.

I Drink Your Milkshake26 Mar 2018 1:47 p.m. PST

Well I like 1813 so, 70% French, 30% Allied.

JimSelzer Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2018 2:04 p.m. PST

ditto the above and of the above mentioned Allied only the Bavarians didn't follow French Organization ie 1 voltigeur 4 fusilier 1 grenadier company, and the morale of the above are close to the average French Line. now Naples is another story

LtJBSz Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2018 2:25 p.m. PST

In 1805, 1806 and 1807, Napoleon's Grand Armee was pretty much all French, I believe the first significant numbers of Germans Poles, and even a few Dutch show up in 1808 for Friedland.

eldorado26 Mar 2018 4:14 p.m. PST

Thanks for the comments. I know there is no correct answer to this given my parameters but I am currently on my 65th French base and so far I have painted all French units. I need to make a decision soon as to whether I continue on for an all French solution or go for something like a 70-30 split as has been mentioned. I thought it would be interesting to see what others would.

Gonsalvo26 Mar 2018 4:41 p.m. PST

You always need more French, so I'd go with 20 – 25% allied units at most. There are SO many to choose from, though!

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2018 10:30 p.m. PST

Because there are so many to choose from I might do more allies but being prepared to not use them all in any given battle.

eldorado28 Mar 2018 10:42 a.m. PST

COL Scott ret,
I believe that is the correct longer term solution (having enough French and French allies to formulate a given army for a given era). My current problem is that I am creating all the major armies of that era (not only French) and I have 72 infantry figures per base and 24 cavalry figures per base (6mm) so it may take me awhile before I have optional bases that will not be used in a given battle.

Jeffers30 Mar 2018 1:59 a.m. PST

I'm finally getting around to French and following Gonsalvo's recommendation of 20-25%. To avoid the issue of painting figures I will only use once, I plan a 'generic formation' of various French allies consisting of a variety of units (Saxons, Poles etc) based on whatever uniform I find prettiest.
It really depends on your sensibilities, but considering I spent the early years of wargaming watching British figures substituting for every French adversary imaginable, its not really an outlandish concept to me!
This might be a way around it for you: you can always expand whatever element you take a fancy to after you complete the big players.

eldorado30 Mar 2018 4:51 p.m. PST

You have got me thinking a bit about doing some units (somewhat generic) in white that could effectively be either French or Saxons, Westphalia etc. I would have to do some more research as to what facing colours some of these had in common.

Osage2017 Inactive Member30 Mar 2018 6:15 p.m. PST

1812 Invasion of Russia:
250,000 Frenchmen
100,000 Poles (+ 8,000 Poles in Austrian corps included below)
– 15,000 Dutch
– 10,000 Belgians
– 21,000 Italians from Kingdom of Italy
– 7,000 Italians from annexed Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Genoa, Parma and Rome
– 7,000 Italians from Naples
– 35,000 Austrians *
– 4,000 from Illiria and Dalmatia
– 4,000 Spaniards
– 3,000 Croats (+ 2,500 Croats in Austrian corps included below)
– 2,000 Portuguese
– 30,000 Bavarians
– 25,000 Prussians
– 22,000 Saxons
– 22,000 Westphalians
– 12,000 Wuerttembergers
– 5,000 Germans from annexed North Germany and left bank of the Rhine River
– 5,000 Baden
– 3,000 Berg
– 3,000 Hessians
– 2,000 Mecklenburg
– 4,000 from various small members of Rhine Confederation
– 9,000 Swiss

My favorite battle is Leipzig 1813, because every European army is represented. I love it :-) Have nice day.

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